It’s the best gift for home cooks we can think of.

By Katie Macdonald
December 18, 2019
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Amazon

With Christmas just a week away, we’re in holiday crunch time. And if you’re still looking for the perfect last-minute gift, consider a sous vide immersion circulator. It’s just the thing for kitchen newbies and experienced chefs alike, flawlessly cooking everything from delicate fish and creamy risotto to the juiciest chicken of your life.

What’s more, operating it is essentially fool-proof: Seal your ingredients in an airtight bag or jar, place in a water bath that your immersion circulator has brought to the exact perfect temperature, and set a timer. It’ll never over- or undercook, even if you leave if running all day long.

And when it comes to picking the most reliable, user-friendly sous vide, we love the Breville Joule Sous Vide (FYI, it used to be called ChefSteps). And there’s never been a better time to get one of your own: Right now the device is 36 percent off on Amazon.

To buy: $160 (originally $250); amazon.com

When our editors tested three top-rated sous vide machines, they praised the Joule for its efficiency and “cooking for dummies” functionality. It was one of the first WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled circulators on the market and features an app that explains sous vide cooking to beginners. The app holds your hand with easy-to-read, step-by-step instructions, prompting you to select how you’d like your dish cooked visually then automatically setting the temperature and cook time.

RELATED: The Best Sous Vide Immersion Circulators, According to Tests

The Joule is small but mighty. It weighs just 1.3 pounds, but is powered by 1100 watts that heats up water to the exact temperature you need lickety split and is precise to 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit. What’s more, you don’t need any other special equipment. Its magnetic base and versatile clip can attach to almost any container, from small saucepans to large coolers.

The gadget is also one of Amazon’s top-selling sous vide immersion circulators, and has racked more than 800 five-star reviews. Shoppers rave about the Joule’s design, as well as how user-friendly it is.

“I'm a nervous beginner chef and the Joule has been a delight,” wrote one reviewer. “I was afraid the Joule was going to be too tech-y, as it relies on its companion app to work. This has proven to not be a problem. I really like that I can go out and my phone will let me know when my lamb chop is done. And wow—the lamb chops are delicious!”

Others love how sleek and light the circulator is, as well as how it can attach to almost any container, thanks to its magnetic base.

“I am a chef but I had never cooked sous vide prior to getting Joule,” a shopper said. “I adore this device and use it all the time now. It has a very small footprint and the build quality is like an Apple product. It is extremely precise and heats the water very quickly. Between the built-in clip and the strong magnetic base, it is easy to secure in a variety of pans.”

While the Breville Joule Sous Vide typically costs $250, you can now get it for just $160. But make sure to add it to your cart quickly—we’re almost positive this deal won’t last.

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